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Age 1 month: Lifts head, responds to sound, stares at faces.

Sean is in his office, on the phone, when he sees the flash of blonde hair by Nick's desk. Adalind. Adalind and the baby. There is a stir amongst the detectives and he can see people moving towards Nick's desk, handshakes, admiration. He's not sure why Nick should be congratulated. At least when Adalind slept with him, conceived Diana, at least then he gave his consent. He knows he was manipulated by Adalind, knows she deliberately took advantage of him whilst he was under the spell that made him desire Juliette - all that lust, love, confusion whatever the hell it was - but in that moment he wanted it, wanted her. It doesn't compare to what she did to Nick.

The baby is being passed around and Wu is holding him now, a small white bundle, a suggestion of dark hair. Sean thinks back to those few times he held Diana. He hadn't anticipated the power of that, the feel of the baby in his arms, her looking up at him, the knowledge that this tiny creature was something of his, he was part of her. There had even been that brief moment when he'd thought he could be a family with Adalind and their daughter. He does understand why Nick is being swept along by this. He doesn't understand why it bothers him so much.

Sean is making noises of agreement but he's barely listening to the speaker at the other end of the phone. He usually tries to finish conversations with this particular politician as soon as possible but he's happy to let him talk now. He doesn't want to have to go out there. He doesn't want to shake Nick's hand, admire the baby. Definitely doesn't want to have to hold the baby. Doesn't want to be anywhere near Adalind. He knows it's ridiculous - the things they've faced recently, the events of the last weeks, months, even years, all the times he pretends feelings he doesn't have, conceals the ones he does: how can one small child have him hiding in his office?

He knows that Nick has been the subject of a lot of gossip. Only been back at work a short time and now he's here, with a woman they don't recognise (and many of them knew Juliette, not well but in that way they do know the husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends of the other detectives) and a baby. He knows the fact he isn't out there might be seen as a sign of something. He still can't do it.

Nick looks towards the office and their eyes meet, hold. Sean has a phone with a dead line to his ear now, no one on the other end. Sean has never been a man to refuse to face the dangers of his life but he just can't make himself leave this office. After a very long moment Nick turns away.

Adalind doesn't look towards him. She's laughing, maybe even flirting a little with the detectives around her. Just another pretty girl, he thinks. How wrong he was and how much he regrets that comment.

When Adalind leaves he finally puts the receiver down. Goes to turn the blinds - the signal that Captain Renard must not be disturbed - sits back at his desk. Just sits. He doesn't know why it hurts, just that it does.

Chapter Text

Age 2 months: Vocalises sounds, follows objects, holds head up for short periods.

Sean feels tired lately, tired of Royals and Wesen and Grimms and this life he lives. And yet he keeps going. He's had word of not one but two siegbarsten heading to Portland, Nick Burkhardt in their sights. Nick's not answering his phone and it's not something he wants to leave as a message or an email, taking a chance on when Nick hears or reads it. He rings Hank to ask if he knows where Nick is, Hank thinks he's home. Which means he's going to have to go there. He'll just knock the door, make sure Nick's not already met the siegbarsten, give him the information and go.

Sean hasn't been to Nick's apartment before, the one he shares with Adalind, but he knows where it is. He presses the buzzer at the building's entrance door and there's a long pause before there's any response. He's just starting to get slightly concerned when Nick answers. Before Sean can do more than identify himself, Nick buzzes open the door.

Sean takes the stairs and is surprised as he approaches the apartment to see the door ajar. Hank told him it was a fortress, Nick's attempt to keep Adalind and the baby safe. He can hear the baby crying. He puts his hand on his gun, pushes the door open cautiously and goes in, senses alert.

Nick is holding the baby to his shoulder, looking tired and stressed. The baby is red faced and crying with a sort of persistent wail which sounds as though it could go on all night. Both are surrounded by a scatter of bottles and blankets and toys. There is no sign of Adalind. This is not quite what Sean had anticipated.

"What can I do for you, Captain?"
He can see Nick feels awkward, this scene of less than domestic bliss. For his own part he just wants to get away as quickly as he can, away from Nick and the baby.
"I received some information. There are two siegbarsten heading your way - my contact sent me descriptions, photos of them. I thought it was important you got them straightaway. You didn't answer your phone."
Nick looks around vaguely,
"Uh, my phone, I'm not sure where I left it."

Sean takes out his own phone, sends the files to Nick, then rings Nick's number. They both pause, listening for the ringtone above the crying. Sean tracks it to the couch, feels down the side of the cushion until his fingers touch something hard, retrieves the phone. The screen shows several missed calls, not only his own. He turns and hands it to Nick.

Nick takes the phone, goes to look at it and the baby arches back into an even louder cry. Nick drops the phone and swears under his breath. He looks slightly like he might just cry himself. Sean picks up the phone again, puts it down on the table and - because somehow Nicholas Burkhardt always makes him step outside his limits - holds out his hands and takes the baby.

The baby gives one last surprised wail and then stops crying. The quiet is like a miracle.

Sean and Nick look at each other and then Nick sinks down on the couch.
"He's just been crying and crying. He's not hungry, he's not wet, he just wouldn't stop. I think a siegbarste would almost be a relief." He smiles, a nearly proper Nick smile, up at Sean.

Sean feels rather like he's holding a bomb. A small, surprisingly hot and heavy bomb. Carefully, very carefully, he sits on the end of the couch and manouevres the baby round a little. The baby is looking up at him, older then Diana was the last time he held her, the eyes more focused. Rather hesitantly he touches the baby's cheek, the amazingly smooth skin. This child is half zauberbiest, half something else. Like him. As far as Sean knows he was the only zauberbiest hybrid in the world until this child was born.

When he looks up Nick is watching him. It suddenly seems important to put the thought into words,
"With a siegbarste at least you know what you're getting, what to expect. It's not always easy being half something, a hybrid, an unknown quantity."
"I know. That's why I want to do what I can to keep him safe."

Nick stands up, starts gathering up the explosion of baby belongings, puts the toys in a box, takes the bottles through to the kitchen. He has his back to Sean, busying himself with something when he says,
"Captain?"
"Yes?"
"You and Adalind, was it just the once?."
Well, that's a rather personal question. But he doesn't think Nick is asking out of prurience.
"Yes, just ... once, one night."
"Why did it happen that particular time?"
Sean pauses, does he want to answer this? He suspects he's being asked for his side of a story Adalind has already told. And in the complicated balance of debt and favor between them he decides he probably does owe Nick a response.
"It was when the Sleeping Beauty enchantment was getting - unbearable. The evening I was at your house, when Juliette fired my gun. I was, well, let's say there were a lot of urges that didn't know where to go and Adalind took her moment. Although there was some attraction before that - she wanted me, I'd played with that, didn't behave very well towards her. I deserved what I got."

The baby's eyes are drooping shut, the hand holding his finger is relaxing. Sean shifts slightly to support him better, holds the warm body closer as he does so. There is a small part of him that is ridiculously proud that the baby stopped crying, is falling asleep in his arms.

Nick still has his back half to him, Sean is glad that if they're going to have an awkward conversation he doesn't have to look Nick in the eye, guesses Nick feels the same.

"Do you think she slept with you then because she wanted to get pregnant?"
He's thought about that a lot, "Yes, yes I do."
"Why?"
"Leverage? She wanted her powers back, knew there would be a value to a baby with a mix of our blood." He pauses, "To be fair, once Diana was born she felt differently."
"Do you miss her?"

Of course he does, even though he only held her those few times, knows he's lost her babyhood, will never know her as a toddler. There are days now when he doesn't think of her, more as time goes by, but here, holding Nick's baby, holding Kelly, of course he does.
"Yes, I miss her."

Nick finally comes out of the kitchen. Looks at Sean, looks at his son.
"I think we can put him in his crib now."

Nick goes, moves the crib from what Sean assumes is Adalind's bedroom to Nick's own. This answers a question of Sean's and reinforces his impression that Adalind isn't just out with the girls, that Nick isn't quite sure where she is or how long she's gone for. None of his business, he tells himself firmly. He stands up, follows Nick and puts Kelly down in his crib. Looks at the baby for a final moment.

Nick asks, slightly awkwardly, if he wants a beer but Sean's coming back to his senses now, wants to be gone. He refuses and leaves.

 

The first siegbarste assaults a passer-by near Nick's old house (although no-one else makes the connection) and is arrested and deported. The second one proves more troublesome and in the end it takes Nick, Hank, Monroe and Sean to take him down. Monroe and Sean both have to woge.

Sean never likes to woge in front of Nick, pretends to himself that it's the Grimm's eyes whilst knowing it's really not. When the siegbarste goes down for the final time he's directly opposite Nick, would usually retract as soon as possible. This time he doesn't, he holds his head up, meets Nick's eyes squarely, keeps his woge. Nick's son is a zauberbiest, he's going to have to get used to it. And Nick holds his gaze until he puts his human face back on.

Chapter Text

Age 3 months: Laughs, smiles, recognises your face and scent

It's quarter to one in the morning when Sean's phone rings. He looks at the screen blearily: Nick. He sits up, runs his hand over his face and answers the call. At first he can't quite make out what Nick is saying,
"Nick, calm down, where are you?"
"I'm at your front door."

He goes straight down, even though he's only wearing sleep pants, unlocks the door. Nick is there, looking pale and as though he got dressed in the dark. He's carrying Kelly in a car seat, the baby is fast asleep.

Sean stands aside, lets them in. Something has happened, that's clear, but what? He thinks he's fairly far down on Nick's list of supportive friends so either they are all out of town or this is something more specific. When the first word out of Nick's mouth is 'Adalind' he guesses the latter.

Nick puts the car seat and the bag he's carrying down, adjusts the blanket covering Kelly, sits on the couch. After saying Adalind's name he seems to have run out of words. Sean would like to go and get dressed but he doesn't want to leave Nick: he's interviewed enough nervous witnesses and uncertain complainants to know from Nick's body language that he could quite likely be straight back out the door. He's sitting on the edge of the couch, eyes scanning the room, seems poised to launch himself up and away.

He turns up the heat, switches on lamps, keeps up a bland running commentary on what he's doing. Nick might recognise the putting-a-witness-at-ease-101 tactics but they're working anyway, Nick is sitting back a fraction further, looks like he's actually in contact with the cushion now. Sean contemplates the whisky decanter for a moment but then goes to the kitchen and finds tea at the back of the cupboard. He makes both of them a drink, adds honey and a little cold water, takes it back through to Nick. He puts the hot mug in Nick's hands, sits next to him on the couch, takes a sip of his own drink (he hates tea with honey) and is pleased to see that Nick mirrors, takes a drink from his.

After a few minutes Nick is visibly calming and puts down his mug, looks around as though a little surprised to find himself here. Sean wonders, has something happened to Adalind or has Adalind done something?

"Nick, is Adalind alright?"
"Oh, she's fine."
So Adalind is the cause, not the victim.
"And does Adalind know where you are? Where Kelly is?"
Nick shakes his head.
"Do you think you should let her know? At least that Kelly is safe and with you. I don't somehow think Adalind will react well to not knowing where he is."
Nick pulls out his phone, starts to type a message. Sean is startled to see how much he is shaking. After a few seconds of watching Nick's rising frustration Sean takes the phone out of his hand, completes the message, presses send. He's going to have to ask.
"Nick, what's happened." He's still not sure if Nick is angry or upset. Maybe both.

"Adalind, she wants us to have, uh, a 'proper' relationship. And sometimes it seems like it's heading that way, you know. She can be cute and funny and she loves Kelly, sometimes I want us to be a proper family."
"But?"
"But every time we get close, you know physically, I think about Juliette, about what happened to, to get Kelly. So I keep saying no, I don't want that, not yet, maybe not ever."
Sean is not at all sure he wants to hear any more of this. He doesn't want to know about Nick's sex life - or lack of it - with Adalind. But it seems he's going to.
"So tonight I'd gone to bed and she came in, got into bed with me and started, started touching me. And I was half asleep so...”
"So you reacted?"
"Yeah. And then I woke up enough to realise what was happening and...I was angry. So we had a huge row. And then I got Kelly and came here."

Sean would like to ask 'Why here?' But he knows why, why Nick would come to him and not Hank or Monroe for this. There is, he thinks, a pattern to Adalind's behaviour, one that definitely crossed a line when she slept with Nick as Juliette, maybe crossed that same line here. And while he can't see his own encounter with Adalind as anything other than consensual it did have a foreshadowing of her later deeds. Sean is a policeman, he thinks Adalind's actions would be seen in a far darker light if she wasn't a pretty girl.

Nick seems almost to have heard his thought process,
"Beautiful blonde gets in bed and wants to make out with you, I guess some men would wonder what I was doing saying 'no'. But it doesn't feel right. When the hell does my life stop being a mess?"

Nick stands up, rubs his face with his hands. For a moment Sean thinks he's crying but then he realises he's laughing. Not a good laugh though. He stands up too, puts his hand on Nick's shoulder, intending a brief grasp, the kind of comfort that seems appropriate, captain and detective, two maybe friends. But Nick turns and puts his arms round Sean and rests his head against his chest. The world stands still for a moment and then he puts his arms round Nick.

They stand like that for a while. Nick smells good, he thinks, fits against him so well. Nick's hair is very soft and he can feel the scrape of stubble against his skin as Nick moves slightly. When Nick speaks he senses him take the breath before.
"Sean, do you ever think we both slept with Juliette, both slept with Adalind, maybe we should just sleep with each other?"
Is he joking? But he is standing wrapped in Sean's arms and with his head against Sean's bare chest. Over the years Sean has sometimes wondered about the signals Nick sends him but this is a whole new level. It doesn't really matter at the moment though.
"Even if I have we're not going there now."
"Why not?"
"Because you're upset, you're angry with the woman you're in a relationship with, however that relationship might be working, and taking advantage of that would make me as bad as Adalind."

Kelly starts to whimper, the noise gradually building in volume and he feels Nick shift. They step apart, Nick goes to pick up his son and the moment is gone. He shows Nick to the spare room, they improvise a crib for Kelly. The baby sleeps soundly, Nick sleeps a little, Sean doesn't sleep at all, remembering the feel and scent and sight of Nick in his arms. Wondering how much he's given himself away.

The next morning is filled with practicalities, particularly as one of his house guests is very demanding and somewhat grumpy. Nick gets Kelly diapered and fed and and settled and Sean can't help being impressed by him. Could he have been a father like that to Diana?

He waits as long as he can before putting on his jacket and tie, becoming unequivocally Nick's Captain. Nick is heading back to the apartment, has already rung and spoken to Adalind. They are politely distant, last night's embrace seems a lifetime away. Nick is checking he has everything, Kelly already back in his car seat. To distract himself Sean sits on the couch, turns the seat towards him. Kelly looks at him seriously and Sean says hello, reaches a hand to him - and Kelly coos and gurgles and waves his hands and laughs. Sean can't help but talk and smile back.

He realises that Nick is standing, keys in hand, watching them, a thoughtful expression on his face. Sean is a little embarrassed to be caught in baby talk.
"Sean-", Nick hardly ever calls him that, "Do you think I should be trying to make this work with Adalind? With all she's done in the past"

"Nick, how can I possibly say that you should judge Adalind only on her past actions? I'm the very last person who could recommend you do that. People do ... regret, do change, do realise they want things to be different. And Adalind willingly took the hexenbiest suppressant."

"Okay." Nick goes to turn away.

"The only thing is, if I took that suppressant I don't know I'd be that different a man. What I've done, where I've been, who I've known, I think they make me now as much as my genetic inheritance. Same with Monroe. It will be the same with Kelly. That's the only thing I'd say."

Nick looks at him,
"Thank you. And for taking me in last night. Taking us both in."

Sean looks back at Kelly, who is paying no attention to this conversation and is apparently fascinated by the large hand holding his little one.
"You're welcome. Both of you."

Chapter Text

Age 4 months: reach for and grasp an object

Sean is walking through the Pearl when he notices the family ahead of him. Mom, long blonde hair, dad pushing the stroller, shopping bags on the handle. Nick. They have had a busy time lately, in both the Wesen world and the world of the Portland Police Bureau, have spent time together, but always as Captain and Detective, Grimm and zauberbiest. He has tried quite hard not to listen to the department gossip but Nick is still sharing the apartment with Adalind.

Nick is about fifteen feet in front when he stops, leans down to talk to Kelly. Now Sean has a problem, he's either got to stop himself or walk past them, probably have a stilted conversation in the middle of the sidewalk. Except oddly the blonde woman keeps on walking, and Sean realises it isn't Adalind at all. And it's already too late because Nick has turned himself and the stroller through one hundred and eighty degrees and has spotted him.
"Captain."
"Nick. And Kelly."
Kelly is looking up at him and waving his arms enthusiastically. Can babies remember someone they haven't seen for nearly a month? He doubts it but it is quite engaging. He finds himself smiling back.
"I wouldn't get too close, we are about to have an emergency bathroom visit. I was hoping to make it home so I didn't have to juggle all the shopping but he hasn't mastered timing."
Sean pauses for a second but what can it hurt. "I can mind bags if it helps."

They go into a coffee shop. Nick leaves Sean with the stroller and the bags and carries Kelly off, holding him rather gingerly, to change him. Sean orders them both coffee, sits and waits. The purchases catch his eye. From the store names and the sizes and shapes it seems Nick has been buying bedding, something electrical and toys.

Nick returns. Kelly looks like he has objected to the recent assault on his dignity, his cheeks wet and his face rather red. As soon as he sees Sean though he does his arm waving routine again. Nick looks at Sean,
"Here, would you hold him a moment."
Nick rearranges the various bags while Sean takes Kelly, who sits on his knee, gurgles happily, grabs and then plays with a spoon.

Nick sits down, sips his coffee.
"You'll know on Monday anyway when I bring in the change of address form, so you might as well know now. I've got a new apartment."
"Just you?"
"Well, me and then Kelly part time, if we can sort out how that's going to happen around the hours I work. But not Adalind, she's staying in the old apartment. It, it hasn't worked, I couldn't make it work, not even for Kelly."
Nick looks down at the table and Sean realises that he is struggling to hold it together. Cautiously, with the hand not holding Kelly, he reaches across the table, touches Nick's wrist. Nick turns his hand and for a brief second grasps Sean's hand, palm to palm.

Kelly waves his spoon enthusiastically. Nick takes a deep breath and turns, reaches into one of the bags, takes out a toy,
"Here give him this, less likely to have your eye out."
They sit and drink their coffee and talk of other things and Sean sits holding Nick's son. And if their legs are just touching under the table, neither moves away.

Come Monday Sean looks at the change of address form, puts his caring Captain's hat on and tells Wu to sit down with Nick and look at shift patterns. Sean knows the building, thinks it must be quite a small apartment. Which isn't surprising when some discreet investigation reveals that Nick is paying for both old and new places. A little further digging and he knows that although Adalind is looking for a job she hasn't found one yet - he imagines her long career break looks rather odd on a CV. Nick is going to be living on air with his outgoings. He puts on his Prince of Portland hat (or should that be crown?) and calls in a few favors, there'll be a law firm somewhere in the city that can use a slightly out of practise hexenbiest.

The following Saturday he sees the apartment for himself, along with Monroe and Rosalee, Hank and Wu. That's about as many people as you can fit in along with Nick and Kelly. He thinks the others are a little surprised at his presence. Nick and Hank have had a run in with coyotls during the week and Nick is telling the tale, a rather odd contrast to the baby entertaining that is running parallel. Kelly gets passed around, Monroe to Rosalee, Hank to Wu, back to Monroe. Monroe is about to pass Kelly to Rosalee when Sean hears himself say,
"Don't I get a go?"
Monroe looks a little startled but passes Kelly across. And Kelly, rather obligingly, gives a shriek of delight, grabs Sean's shirt front with both hands and laughs, Nick is grinning and Sean is smiling back. And now the others all look startled. Nick, still smiling at Sean, says,
"Kelly likes Sean a lot."
And for the first time Sean really believes - and everyone in the room realises - that Kelly's dad just might feel the same.

Chapter Text

Age 5 months: may develop stranger anxiety.

Sean, along with Nick and Hank and another two of his detectives, spends the afternoon at an inter-precinct strategy meeting. It's not the kind of thing that normally brings joy to his heart but the meeting goes well, policing not politics, cooperation not competition. He enjoys it for other reasons too. Nick gives a presentation on recent gang related activity - a heavily edited account, given the gang were all coyotls. Sean doesn't really need to listen, having heard it twice already, so he just enjoys the work-sanctioned opportunity to watch Nick. When the meeting ends one of the detectives from North Precinct congratulates Nick on becoming a father. A picture is produced, passed round. A photograph taken, Sean knows, two evenings ago, one in which the shirt Kelly is resting against is Sean's own, the just visible hand his - Nick gives him a grin when no one is watching. And as they are getting ready to leave, three separate aquaintances tell him how well he's looking. One asks what his secret is and, although he just smiles in reply, he can only assume it's happiness.

He's seen Nick - and Kelly - a lot recently. They've been passing his house and called in, he's had to drop various things off at Nick's apartment, he and Nick have oh so accidentally been leaving the precinct at the same time and ended up getting something to eat. Nothing has been said, no irrevocable lines crossed, although they have touched rather more than might be expected, their eyes have met and held. But tonight Nick is coming to his house for dinner, no accident or coincidence or just passing - an invitation given and accepted.

Sean is walking out with Captain Iveson, Nick and Hank ahead of him when he sees Nick pull out his phone, answer a call, knows immediately something is wrong. Nick and Hank have stopped walking, Nick is still talking to whoever is on the end of the line, looking instantly stressed. He catches up, doesn't even need to ask Hank a question.
"Someone's tried to snatch Kelly. Adalind was out with him in the stroller, someone tried to grab him. That's about all we know so far."
Sean feels an actual physical pain, as though his heart refuses a beat as he takes in the words.
"Is Kelly okay?"
"I think he's fine. It's Wu on the phone, Adalind's at the precinct."

At the precinct Adalind is sitting at Nick's desk, face tear stained. Kelly is in his stroller, looking about him with a serious face and chewing thoughtfully on his toy fox.
"Kelly."
The baby looks around at the sound of Nick's voice, his own name, and holds out his arms. Nick takes him from the stroller, holds him tight. Kelly still looks serious. Adalind jumps up and holds Nick from the other side.
"Oh my god, Nick, I was so scared. They just ran up and tried to grab him, grab the stroller and I was holding on and I knew I just couldn't let go -"
She starts crying and after a second Nick puts an arm around her too, holds her and his son close, rests his head on the bright blonde hair.

Sean turns away. Adalind has lost one child, and, however justified it might have seemed at the time, it was thanks to him. He's the last person who should deny her any comfort now. All he can do is make sure they find out what happened, catch the perpetrators. Sean looks at Hank, that ever solid presence, and Wu.
"Come into my office. Tell me what happened."

They don't need to tell him, they can show him - they've already got security camera footage. He can see Adalind pushing the stroller. She pauses, looks into a store window, the stroller to one side of her, one hand on the handle closest to her. Two men run into shot, both dark haired, one tall, one slightly shorter. One is wearing a dark coat, the other a leather jacket. Leather jacket grabs the stroller, Adalind turns, hangs on, looks like she's yelling. The second man has a hand on the stroller too and that turns it round so that Sean can make out Kelly's face. Even in the slightly distant view he can tell Kelly is crying. There are a few seconds of tugging back and forth and then passers by run into view, one of whom gets a decent punch at leather jacket. The two men let go of the stroller and run off.

He gives orders - for statements, for searches for more security camera footage that might show the men arriving or running away, for checks on Nick's recent cases. It's all too amateurish to be Verrat, any organisation. All the time he watches Nick, Adalind, Kelly through the blinds. He'd like to hold Kelly himself, reassure himself that Kelly is safe and well but he doesn't think it would be welcome. In the end, because he doesn't know what else to do, he just pulls his paperwork towards him.

Adalind gives her statement and after that is free to go. Nick taps on the door frame, comes in carrying Kelly. Sean stands up, goes towards them.
"I'm going to take Kelly and Adalind ...home. I can't, I can't just leave them there alone after today. I need to be there for Kelly. I'm sorry."
He understands, he really does. Kelly is reaching towards him, still with that serious expression on his face but Nick doesn't pass him across or acknowledge his son's outstretched arms in any way. Sean reaches out and touches Kelly's hand, it feels like a farewell.

*****

He opens his front door, walks straight through to the back of the house, pours a drink from the whisky decanter. Puts it down again untouched and goes to stand at the window, stands there for a long time. He's finally roused by the sound of his phone and he pulls it from his jacket pocket. Hank. He answers,
"Captain, could you come back to the precinct? There's something I think you need to see."

At first he doesn't quite take in what he is seeing. Hank shows him camera footage, the same camera, two days earlier. Adalind appears with the stroller, exactly as in the one he saw before, stands in front of the same window in the same position. After a moment she turns, walks towards the camera as though going to cross the road, moves out of shot. He doesn't know what he's supposed to make of that, other than Adalind really fancies buying something in that store. Then Hank says,
"This next one isn't such good quality because the camera isn't one of ours. The store owner has had some issues recently with late night revellers using his doorway for encounters that would be better behind closed doors, if you know what I mean, and fitted a camera . I think it's clear enough though."

The second clip shows the reverse angle. It's grainy but Adalind, bright hair and stroller is easily recognisable. She walks into the shot and straight across to two men who are standing waiting, starts talking to them, gesturing back across the road. The men have their backs to the camera but both are dark haired, one tall, one slightly shorter. One is wearing a dark coat, the other a leather jacket. And now he understands.
"She set it up. Adalind set it up."

Sean had totally believed in Adalind's distress, and while he may not have spent that much time with her lately, he had thought the change in her was genuine. Hank, though, he realises, has looked for this. Why?
"Adalind is five feet four inches tall, weighs maybe a hundred and fifteen pounds at most and is not supposed to be a hexenbiest anymore. Yet she was able to hold onto that stroller against two much bigger men. I know you get these stories about mothers getting extra strength when their child is threatened but it set me wondering. And Adalind has been really upset about Nick moving out, angry and upset, I'm not sure Nick has realised how much. I thought she was getting over it but then the other day Adalind was at Monroe and Rosalee's and, well, they let something slip about you and Nick, that you're getting close."
Sean looks at Hank at that but Hank just has his usual calm expression, certainly no condemnation. Adalind though, he does see she would find it hard to take. So she arranged for the one thing to happen that would get Nick back into that apartment.
"How do we tell Nick?"
Hank looks at him,
"You don't, I'm going to go round there and tell him. I wanted you to see this but I think you should go home. I doubt Nick's gonna stay at Adalind's apartment after this and I think he'll need a friend, someone who cares about him and Kelly. After that it will be up to Nick if we press charges, what happens, but that will be a decision for later."

Feeling rather dazed Sean drives home again.

It's quarter to one in the morning when the doorbell rings. This time he's sitting on the couch waiting, hoping, and he goes straight to the door. Nick is standing there, Kelly held in one arm, a bag in the other hand. They come in and he shuts the door behind them. Nick puts the bag down and then walks straight into Sean's arms. He holds them both close, kisses Nick's hair and then kisses Kelly's.
"Sean"
"Yes?"
"Don't you dare give me that speech again, the one about me being too upset and angry for you to take me to bed."
Despite everything he smiles,
"I won't."
And he puts his hand to Nick's cheek and Nick tilts his head and their lips meet for the very first time.

 

It's not quite that simple of course. Kelly has had a long day, one in which the big people round him have been full of anxiety and anger that he can feel, even if he can't name or understand the emotions. He takes a long time to settle. And then Nick needs to talk, needs to make some kind of sense of the day's events while wrapped in the security of Sean's arms. Adalind, unsurprisingly, had said some hurtful things after Hank had arrived and shown the video footage and Sean suspects there is still going to be a lot of water under that particular bridge. That's for tomorrow though. For tonight, what's left of it, they share a bed and just hold. There's tomorrow for other things too.

Chapter Text

Age 6 months: relaxed and outgoing with familiar people with whom they feel safe.

It has been Sean's day off, and if someone had told him six months ago how he would spend it he would have just laughed at them in disbelief. Nick had an early start and was up and away before his son was fully awake, never mind Sean. That left him and Kelly to have a more leisurely start to the day - zaubertime as Nick laughingly calls it - before he took Kelly to Alice's. Alice is Bud Wurstner's sister-in-law, an unusually feisty eisbiber who has just seen her youngest child off to college and is now Kelly's regular sitter. If the same someone had told Sean just how grateful he'd feel to an eisbiber he'd have doubted their sanity, but having a safe and secure place for Kelly to go means he values Alice very highly indeed. After dropping Kelly off he had three main aims for the day. The first was a meeting with a contact, another step in the search for Diana, the second an appointment with his lawyer. The third thing he had to do was get ready for this, well, there's really no other word for it but party. Sometimes the turn his life has taken still surprises him.

His house is full of people, more people than it's ever had at one time before. And of course the point of this gathering is that it's not just his house anymore, it's Nick's home too, and Kelly's. There have been times in the last month when Sean has felt like the man in the barrel being tossed over Niagara Falls, times when he has felt moments of happiness purer than he's ever known in his life - and some times when he's wondered what the hell he's let himself in for.

Hank comes over, beer in hand and they talk comfortably. Hank has been another surprise. Sean has always considered him a good detective, one of his best, but in this last month he's become a friend, perhaps the person more than any other who has helped this work. That first night, the night Nick arrived, it was Hank who stayed with Adalind, made sure she did nothing stupid. And since then it's Hank who has mediated between Kelly's parents and who has helped Sean believe that he really can have his happy ending.

Sean's first crisis of confidence came a few days after Nick arrived and it was triggered by, of all things, laundry. He'd been sorting laundry to go to the cleaners, eight of his shirts - and four of Nick's. It struck him that those four shirts already represented by far the most meaningful relationship of his adult life. He's never done this before - he's going to make mistakes that he doesn't even know exist yet and the trouble is, of course, that it matters. He'd been so thrown that he'd gone into the office and written a report on the impact of local policing strategies on burglary clear up rates. It was Hank who'd come in and asked him straight out what he was doing there, refused to accept his answer of pressure of work and then sat and listened sympathetically as he'd fumbled his way through his fears. Hank seems to totally believe that Sean and Nick are right for each other and Sean finds that confidence is important to him.

Sean talks to Rosalee and Monroe, a slightly less comfortable conversation this one. He can understand that they liked and supported Juliette and Nick, accepted and supported Adalind and Nick and that having to start again with a third relationship is quite hard for them. Especially one as unexpected as Sean and Nick. Rosalee is trying hard but the effort is just visible, Monroe is struggling a little. Nick says Monroe will get there - the big hurdle was surely becoming best friends with a Grimm, being best friends with a Grimm who happens to love a half-Royal zauberbiest is a small step in comparison.

He talks to Bud - who is getting less scared of him - and Alice, who isn't scared of him at all, and then he goes to talk to Wu. Wu is sitting on the floor playing with Kelly. Kelly is watching and listening with great attention to Wu's explanation of the most structurally sound way to build with building blocks and is then laughing with joy as he gets to knock the tower down.

Sean actually only told two people directly about his change in circumstances - Wu and, in the interests of not being fired, the Assistant Chief of Police. Wu's reaction was to look at Sean for a minute, look into the middle distance for a minute and then say, 'Yes, I can see how that would really work. Congratulations, Captain.' After that he just continued exactly as before, the only exception being that when the new duty rosters came out last week Sean noticed that he and Nick have rather more days off in common than he might expect.

The Assistant Chief's reaction had been mostly one of such utter astonishment that Sean thinks he could have added 'have I ever mentioned I'm the illegitimate son of European Royalty' and woged, without appreciably adding to the man's surprise. There had been some mutterings about moving Nick from his command but Sean had been ready with his arguments - and a few pressure points he'd been holding in reserve - and Nick is being allowed to stay where he is. They both know they'll be watched closely and that might be awkward with Nick's Grimm activities, but for the moment it's the best that can be managed.

Kelly is up later than he'd normally be and he suddenly crosses some baby tiredness line and starts crying. Wu looks horrified,
"It's ok, he's just ready for bed."
Sean scoops Kelly up and his crying reduces to a tired whimper. Sean doesn't think he will ever lose his amazement at the feel of Kelly cuddling into him. Nick is talking to Monroe, catches Sean's eye and so it's Sean who takes Kelly up, goes through the nighttime routine, gets him settled. He's sitting, just watching, when Nick comes in.

Nick rests a hand on his shoulder, looks down at his son, fast asleep,
"He loves you."
"And I love him. And you."
Nick holds him tighter, whispers in his ear,
"And I bet you never thought you'd say those words the day you first saw him, that day you hid in your office."
"You knew I was hiding?"
"Totally. It just took me a while to work out why - and to work out why it mattered so much to me. I'm glad you stopped hiding."
Sean leans back against Nick, the warmth and solidity of him, looks down at Kelly,
"So am I."

When Sean and Nick go back downstairs champagne has been opened and a toast is made, to them, to Kelly. And Nick pulls Sean to him and kisses him soundly in front of everyone. No, Sean thinks, no more hiding.

Chapter Text

Epilogue: Learning to talk.

They are eating dinner - adults only, Kelly in bed and fast asleep - when Nick suddenly asks,
"Sean, what do you want to be called?"

He looks at Nick, puzzled. What does he mean? Depending on where he is, he answers to Captain, Sean or Renard. He's been addressed as Royalty and forced to answer to less flattering names at times, but that hardly seems relevant at the moment. There are also some names that Nick calls him but which are definitely just between the two of them. His confusion must show on his face because Nick adds,
"I mean by Kelly. You're as much a parent to him as I am, do you want him to call you Sean or something else? He'll be starting to talk soon so we probably need to decide."

Kelly babbles away and there are definitely starting to be word sounds in there, Nick's right about the talking. This hadn't even crossed Sean's mind though, Nick is Kelly's daddy, he hadn't thought any further than that. Nick reaches across the table, touches his hand.
"It's okay, Sean, you can think about it if you want. What did you call your father?"
"Usually 'Your Majesty'."
"Seriously? Even when you were little?"

Nick knows more than anyone about his life with the Royal family in the years before he escaped with his mother, but that's still not much. So, what about when he was small, when his mother and father were as together as they ever were, before his father was King? He searches his memory, can't think at first.
"Papa, I called him papa."

How could he have forgotten that? He'd been six when he and his mother first moved away from Kronenberg but somehow what happened to him there later has overwritten that earlier time. Nick's still watching him thoughtfully.
"Papa sounds nice."
And he does remember playing with his father, listening to him read stories, being held in his arms. But does he want any link between Kelly and Frederick?

Nick's holding his hand across the table,
"Hey, think about it. There's time."

It's on his mind over the next few days. Sean hopes that Diana would have called him dad or daddy. If he says he wants Kelly to call him Sean is that denying him in some way? Kelly has none of his blood but he knows with absolute certainty that it makes no difference to how he feels.

He thinks about it a lot but can't come to any decision. It's Nick, of course, who knows what is really the problem.

The subject comes up again when they're lying in bed together, sated but not entirely relaxed - Kelly is staying with Adalind tonight, a recent agreement, and neither will be entirely at ease until he's safely back. Sean does see the irony in this. Nick works his way as close as he can.
"You've still been thinking about what I asked you the other night, haven't you? About what Kelly should call you?"
He makes a non-committal noise.
"Sean, tell me about your father."

If Nick had asked anywhere else other than wrapped in Sean's arms he would probably have changed the subject, avoided the question. If he'd asked on any other night he might still have done, but Sean knows that Nick needs to talk. And so tonight he answers.

He talks about Frederick, the good memories - and there are some - and the bad. The things Frederick did, the things he didn't do and the things he could have prevented and didn't. Some things are hard for him to say, hard for Nick to hear. And he realises for the first time that his father's death - lost at the time in so much else - did have meaning to him. Sean talks long into the night, tells Nick things he's never told anyone else.

When he's finished Nick says,
"You do know it doesn't really matter what Kelly calls you?"
"What do you mean?"
"It doesn't matter if he calls you Sean or papa or, I don't know, Captain - "
Sean smiles, Nick has been known to call him Captain occasionally when he definitely didn't mean to.
"- because whatever he calls you, that name will mean you. The person who cares for him and protects him. The person who'll show him what it means to be a zauberbiest when the time comes. The person who loves him."
And Sean sees the truth in that.

In the end they settle on 'Sean' because that's the name they have always used, but Kelly has other ideas. To start off with 'dada' applies to both, later on 'Daddy' is Nick and Sean is 'Dad', with the occasional 'Sean' to help other people know who he means. Kelly always knows. And he knows that, whatever he calls them, they love him.